Modern Malaysia is a beautiful country, rich in agriculture and history, with a growing industrial base. It was born from the ashes of the Japanese occupation during World War II- famine, along with the war, killed many and left a void in the country which was filled by Commonwealth (British) organization. The Malaysian Communist Party, supported by the Soviets, worked towards removing the British- who it was felt had not really made life better after the Japanese left. Chaos ruled in many areas and the entire series of skirmishes and wars are worth studying, but beyond the scope of this article. The name “Malaysian Emergency” was bestowed on the wars there because the European landowners/farmers who were insured by Lloyds of London could not be covered if it was a “War.” The name “Emergency” stuck and it is generally considered to have been from 1947 through 1960. The problems reemerged in the 1980s.
The Royal Malaysian Police Museum presents the story of the police all through the Emergency with a very factual, even hand. The diorama of the Bukit Kepong Incident, a tragedy on 23 February 1950, provides excellent insight into what the Malaysian Police had to contend with. Early on that morning, approximately 180 heavily armed members of the Malayan Communist Party attacked the Federation of Malaya Police station at Bukit Kepong. The attackers thought this would be a swift victory. Five hours later, the battle still raged. In the end, the communists killed 14 policemen, 5 auxiliary Police, and 6 civilians- including wives and children of the police. While this was a loss for the government, the true story of the bravery of the police and how their wives came and took up arms, and it ended as their building burned and the last 4 policemen charged the communist position. It is compared to the Battle of the Alamo in U.S. legend, and the even energized the people against the communists.
The Royal Malaysian Police Museum was founded in Kuala Lumpur in 1961. It went through a variety of buildings and leadership, built again in 1983, then the current museum was opened to the public on 2 October 1998.
We found the museum to have excellent displays- there were so many varieties of firearms it was intriguing to consider the sources- a melting pot of armies and insurgents. There were many displays indoors and outdoors, and SADJ recommends that while you’re in Kuala Lumpur, if you can find the time, pay the museum a visit.
Royal Malaysia Police Museum
No. 5 Jalan Perdana
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday – Sunday
10:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am –12:30pm & 2:30pm – 6:00pm